Seager's two blasts not enough to carry Mariners

Seager's two blasts not enough to carry Mariners

Seager's two blasts not enough to carry Mariners
CHICAGO -- Life can be rough on the road, especially when that road leads through U.S. Cellular Field for the Mariners.

Although Seattle has been one of the hottest teams in the American League in the second half, the Mariners endured their second straight loss to the White Sox on Saturday night -- this one a 5-4 decision -- and have now dropped 18 of their last 21 games on the South Side.

The Mariners are 4-23 against the White Sox over the past three years, including a 1-7 mark this year going into Sunday's season finale against the AL Central leaders.

A pair of Kyle Seager home runs accounted for all of Seattle's scoring -- a three-run shot in the first and a solo pop in ninth -- but it wasn't enough to derail a White Sox team that has now won five straight to improve to 70-55.

"We made some mistakes with some pitches today and when you do that against a team like this, they're going to make you pay for it," said Mariners skipper Eric Wedge. "But we still had every opportunity to win that ballgame. All we had to do was come through in one or two situations. If we execute late in the ballgame and do what we need to do, it's a different game."

Trailing 4-3, Seattle had a leadoff runner on first in the eighth after pinch-hitter Eric Thames singled. But after taking a couple of balls and working the count to 2-1 while trying to lay down a bunt, Chone Figgins hit into a double-play grounder to short.

"He missed a sign," Wedge said. "We had the hit-and-run on at 2-0 and he did a nice job with that, but then we went back to the bunt and he just missed a sign. Late in the game, you've got to execute. We've talked about it so many times."

The Mariners jumped on White Sox starter Jose Quintana early with Seager's three-run poke and could have done far more damage as he walked four batters and threw 42 pitches in the first inning before retiring Brendan Ryan on a bases-loaded flyout to center for the final out.

"We had them kind of on the ropes and we were a couple big swings from maybe even getting him out of the ballgame early and that completely changes the complexion of the whole game," said Seager. "He came back and ended up throwing a really good game and going six innings. You have to give him credit. He did a good job bouncing back."

Seager took the team lead with his 15th home run, a solo shot in the ninth off White Sox closer Addison Reed, and increased his team-leading RBI total to 73.

But unlike Friday night, when Seattle grabbed the lead against Reed with a big ninth-inning rally, he slammed the door for his 24th save.

Quintana settled in after his rough first, retiring 12 straight at one point and getting through 5 2/3 innings without allowing another run.

"To be honest with you, I really couldn't pinpoint what it was," Quintana said of his turnaround. "I can't tell you. At that moment, I was just trying to throw strikes, but it just wasn't happening. After that inning, I just had to calm myself down and then I came back out and I felt [fine]."

The White Sox got one run back in the bottom of the first off Blake Beavan on an RBI single by Paul Konerko and another in the third with a run-scoring single by Alex Rios. They finally tied the game at 3 on Tyler Flowers' home run leading off the sixth.

When Alexei Ramirez followed with a double, that was it for Beavan, who wound up going five-plus innings with seven hits, four runs, three walks and two strikeouts. Ramirez scored on Dewayne Wise's two-out single off Charlie Furbush, with the go-ahead run charged to Beavan.

The big right-hander saw his record fall to 5-2 with a 4.09 ERA in eight starts since being recalled from Triple-A on July 17 and 8-8 with a 5.10 ERA for the year.

"Everything was a little off," said Beavan. "I didn't have a good feel for anything tonight. I tried to battle as much as I could and make pitches when they counted."

But with his normal fastball command off and his curveball missing in action, Beavan walked a season-high three batters in the first three innings alone. He'd issued just 14 walks in his first 19 starts combined.

The White Sox tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez off reliever Josh Kinney, which gave Reed the cushion he needed when Seager crushed his second home run.

Justin Smoak singled off Reed to cap a 2-for-3 night with two walks, but he was stranded there when John Jaso popped out for the last out.

"Seager did a good job and hit that one out of the yard," Smoak said. "Then I was able to find a hole there and I thought we were getting right back at it. It's just one of those things. We're never going to quit. We've had our backs to the wall a lot this year, but we're playing through that and understanding you never know what might happen."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.